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Loss + Clubfoot with Rosie Harris
Episode 4130th September 2022 • Radical Resilience • Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:23:56

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Rosie Harris shares her experiences in parenthood, from dealing with pregnancy losses to challenging pregnancies and being a parent. This is her story and she is resilient.

Trigger Warning: The Global Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.

About the Guest:

Rosie Harris is a goldsmith with a background in engineering based out of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She fuses traditional jewellery-making skills with the technical CAD skills she developed working as an engineering technologist. She brings over 15 years of experience as well as both formal and self-taught training to create a demi-fine lifestyle jewelry brand – Joie Designs. Her pieces are easy to style, and fun, while deeply rooted in nature and the Pacific Northwest.

Her award-winning designs have been featured on breakfast television, Shaw TV, the Craft Council of British Columbia and in several online magazines. Most recently, she was a guest on the Dissecting Success Podcast with Blair Kaplan and Theresa Lambert.

Her work can be found in over 23 stores across North America and this list is growing every week. Joie Designs can also be found in several art galleries, including the Comox Valley Art gallery and the Port Alberni Museum.

Her work can also be found at artisan and farmers markets throughout southwestern BC as well as through her online store.

Joie designs jewelry has been spotted on actresses such as Alix Kermes and Canadian Olympian Ania Morton.

Links:

https://www.joiedesigns.ca/

https://www.instagram.com/joiedesigns.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/joiedesigns.ca https://www.pinterest.ca/joiedesignsCA/_shop/


About the Host: 

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.

Blair is listed in USA Today as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders to watch in 2022 and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, ‘The Global Resilience Project.’ She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and in her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project’s online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.


Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info



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Transcripts

Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables and I'm here today to chat about parenthood with Rosie Harris. Rosie is amazing. She's a goldsmith with a background in engineering and she's based out of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She fuses traditional jewelry making skills with her technical CAD skills she developed working as an engineering technologist, she brings over 15 years of experience. Plus, she loves like mountain biking, mountain sports, the whole like West Coast culture, which is really something that shows up in her design. She's won awards, she's been featured in the media, I get to wear some of her jewelry, which is such an honor. Her designs have been seen on Olympians and actresses, and you can buy her stuff online. But today, we're not here to talk about jewelry. Actually, maybe we are. You know what, now that I think of it, we sort of are, but we're here to really talk about something that goes beyond jewelry, it goes kind of deeper, it goes to a place where a lot of you listeners can probably relate. And we're going to talk today about parenthood. And there's so many different ways this conversation can go and Rosie and I were just chatting about it offline. So I'm excited to bring her into this conversation. So welcome to the show, Rosie,

Rosie Harris:

Hi Blair, thank you so much for having me. It's both an honor and pleasure to be here.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I am. So yeah, I'm so honored. Like I've gotten to know you over the past probably year and a half or a year. So So yeah, and I just you know, as I as I get to know you, it's like peeling back the layers of the onion, and I'm just I'm so grateful to have you as a guest. And so we can talk about parenthood. And originally when we were going to talk, you know, I don't know, if the conversation conversations changed much. But like, I don't have kids, I have cats and a husband. And so I can't, I can't relate to the challenges of parenthood, but why don't we dive into your story?

Rosie Harris:

Um, yeah, so likewise, also getting to know you over the year. And I think when I first heard of your Resilience Project, I know you've heard talked a lot about overcoming loss. And you were quite forthcoming with that. And that is something I could also relate to and have also been through. And then I guess it was kind of well, I was, it was before I started working with you again, recently. You know, this late spring, early summer, my entire family got sick. Like really, really sick. Pretty sure we all had COVID sick. And it was kind of that resilience note that you had said really struck out on me because, you know, I know some people define resilience as the ability to bounce back after difficulty. But to me, being a parent means you just keep going through difficulty. And it's supposed to be difficulty and a pleasure at the same time. And you know, I didn't really kind of understand that a realize that until I got here. So yeah, that was really what made me think of it is you know, running a business that you have to keep doing when you're self employed. I'm sure you know all about that. You don't really get days off you do when you don't. And then being a parent, you never get a day off. And less I guess some people have grandparents who live nearby. I do not,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

ya know, and that's, that's good. And there's a lot to unpack there. So first of all, thank you for sharing, and I'm sorry that you guys were all sick at once. Like that sounds like a nightmare because also, like running a business while being sick is a challenge on its own or having children and being sick is challenge a challenge on its own and doing it all together. You know, requires just, you know, putting your head down and getting through it and doing what you need to do to survive. I actually call it survive survival, survival and thrive. So you know, yeah. But you know, what you said before is going through loss You know, pregnancy loss. That's something I can definitely relate to, you know, Shane and I were trying to get pregnant for years. And I was told I probably needed support through IVF, or, you know, medical intervention. And I didn't have a chance to go down that route of investigation, because I actually ended up getting pregnant naturally, which I thought was not going to happen. I was told it wasn't going to happen. And it did. And then so I, you know, going through that miscarriage felt like like a literal like punch to the gut, to the ego, to the hope to the heart. But I didn't have a full chance to grieve it, because only three weeks later, my father in law died. And then three months after that, my mom died. So like, it's really interesting, because now that I'm kind of coming out of this, like compound grief, I'm able to start like unpacking feelings around the different things and kind of identifying what what's going on there. But I'd love to talk about, we're not that I'd love to talk about it. Like that's not the right word. But can we talk a bit more about your pregnancy loss?

Rosie Harris:

Absolutely. Yeah. And I know, I understand what you mean about love to talk about it. And yeah, but I also think it's important to talk about it. So mine was not one loss, it was two. And the first one I did not talk about, it wasn't till I went through the second one that I actually talked about the first and that was one of the things I loved about you, because I really, really hate that stigma of not telling people that you're even pregnant within the first three months, because you might lose it. And that was me. So I think I broke down at the bank one day, and just started crying. And somehow I'm told my bank teller who ran around and gave me a hug. Turns out she had been through a similar situation. So yeah, I I went through a miscarriage. I feel like I went through it twice, because I had ended up going in for emergency surgery four months later, to deal with some of the aftermath of it. Oh, my God, I'm so really, to me, it felt like I went through it twice. I was at school one day, and I had gotten a phone call. And they said, don't eat anything or drink anything. And please come to the hospital. I had gone for a checkup a week before because I was getting some weird opinions. And it turns out, yeah, I didn't miscarry completely and I had to go back for an emergency surgery. And then, right when we were ready to start trying, again, I had what's called an ectopic or a tubal pregnancy, which I ended up in the emergency as I was very close to rupturing that one, I also both I was working out of town. So yeah, it was really hard when, without my partner by my side as well. So yeah, that is my story of my losses. My kids. I have two now that are three and six. They are actually my third and fourth pregnancies.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Wow. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing. And you know what you said about your first pregnancy and like, you know, the stigma of not seeing anything for the first three months like what is with that? I started telling people when I learned I was only pregnant that I knew of. I mean, I thought I'd lost eight weeks. I knew for a few weeks. And those are the best weeks because I got to be a mom, I got to live out my dream. And I was telling, like I got such a mixed reaction of you shouldn't be telling people for three months, you probably might miscarry. Like miscarriage is very common. You shouldn't tell anyone. I'm like why I'm pregnant now. Like it's real, like it's inside me. And then people sort of plant like I didn't even think of a miscarriage as a possibility. And then people like birth planting that idea in my head and then I just spent time worrying about it and then it happened. So you know, I think that's great that you are talking about it now and that if you're listening to this like it's okay to talk about being pregnant three weeks pregnant a month pregnant two months pregnant because it's real and it's happening and then if you do go through loss like the stats are one in four women have released carriage and like Yeah,

Rosie Harris:

but so it even gets higher as you get older.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

And so you know, you don't have to go through it alone. And you know, like me like we were wanting kids. We were trying we had the miscarriage I was like Okay, great. We can have kids but after my mom passed away we decided I mean I decided well we decided to change supports me but I don't want to have kids like I use all my big feelings up i We don't have three of the four parents Shane's health, like he had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. I was like, I just like feel like I just don't want to do it. This is not my path in life. But I think because I'm talking about and I was talking about being pregnant, the miscarriage like that was my only time ever going to be pregnant as of now, like, right. So yeah, I wanted to celebrate it. And I wanted people to know, because it was really exciting. And I've been very public about my fertility journey. So you don't need to keep things a secret because of societal norms. And you know what, when you get pregnant, it's important to know that a miscarriage is possible. But it's also important to know that like, you're not alone. You're not alone. You are not alone, you're listening to me and Rosie who both went through it. And when I had the miscarriage, and I shared about it on social media, I got so many messages. And they're like, you just put how I felt into words, but I never told anyone. You know, not everyone has to be public about it. But know that there is support out there. And if you are going through this, or you do in the future, or you know, someone connects them to me. I love that. So you had to, you had four pregnancies. Yeah. And that's amazing that

Rosie Harris:

I'm gonna add one more thing on to what you just said there. Because for me, I didn't actually feel like I really started to heal from the first one, until I started talking about it. Because for me, that is how I process things. I talked through them. And then I had another friend who I think she said it perfectly. When she goes, Look, I'm telling you that I'm pregnant. Now, I know it's early, but you're also the person I'm going to come to if I do lose it. So you know what, we're here to celebrate each other's wins. But we're also here to help each other through our losses. So why should there be the stigma of keeping quiet about it? Because these are the people closest to you. So of course, they're gonna be there through the second thing. So yeah, to me, we I would love to see that norm broken down. I was kind of shocked that that was the advice I was given from my doctor.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Right, you know, and it's so interesting, because like no one that people sometimes talk about, like how hard it is to get pregnant, which isn't even talked about enough. Because I thought, okay, you have sexy, get pregnant, and I tried for years. But also, no one talks about that. It's not like, I would say it's not that easy to stay pregnant. For me,

Rosie Harris:

we struggled a lot more to stay pregnant than to get pregnant. Yeah.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I clearly struggled with both. But I mean, I think it's something that like, we don't learn that in sex ed, or whatever it's called now. And I think it's just like something that's real. And, you know, but you have these two beautiful children. And yeah, and I love that because you've actually incorporated an experience that you've had with your child into your jewelry business. I have, tell us more.

Rosie Harris:

Um, so my pregnancy with my daughter was pretty easy and pretty blissful. My pregnancy with my son, not as much, probably also because I had two or three, almost three year old when I was 19 weeks pregnant with my son didn't know I was having a boy at the time. I went for my what they call your detailed scan. So it's when they do all the measurements of the fetus to ultrasound. And I have never enjoyed ultrasounds. As we've just discussed, I usually get a lot of bad news after them. So I kind of just sit there staring at the ceiling tiles, counting holes in the ceiling or cracks in the tiles or something but anyways, I did get a phone call about a week later from my midwife saying that my son was going to be born with a congenital birth defect. The scientific name which just came out as a blur while I was on the phone with her is congenital with a congenital telopea is equinor Varus commonly known as clubfoot. So my son Yeah, he was diagnosed in the womb and was born with bilateral clubfoot. I didn't even really know what it was. At the time, a lot of people have the MIS notion it's a terrible name clubfoot. They think that it's, you know, foot without any toes or fingers because a club shape but it's actually a golf club. So the feet are usually pointed down and turned inwards. It is quite treatable, but it does require treatment. And yeah, I met a lot of amazing other mums. Because I sought out support groups when I found out for me pregnancy hormones and hearing This did not go well together. There's a lot of tears a lot of uncertainly. I tend to be a bit of a worrywart and have a bad habit of worried about things that haven't happened yet. And they always tell you, they have to tell you the worst case scenarios, just so you are prepared for them. Anyway, it's my little boy, beautiful boy was born with the bilateral club feet, meaning both feet had it. And it was what they call idiopathic, so not related to any other. It wasn't an underlying condition of anything more serious, it was just on its own. I met some amazing, amazing moms, who, you know, one of them talked to me on the phone for 45 minutes when I would text back and forth with and just offered support to each other. And I tried to do that now for other moms. But one of the other things is in British Columbia, our provincial medical care does not cover the covers the casting phase and the surgery, but it does not cover the corrective phase. So they use just to go backwards a little bit for treatment. They generally do surreal casting, slowly manipulating and moving the position of the foot. Someone said it's kind of similar to braces, they're slowly changing the position. A lot of kids about I think around 95%, get what's called a to nonummy where they release the Achilles tendon. So it's a small outpatient surgery. And then after that, they have a cast on for three weeks while the Achilleas goes back. And then they are put in an ankle foot orthosis also called a boots and bar and it is to kind of boots with a bar in between them that hold the feet usually at about a 60 to 70 degree angled outwards because it kind of overcorrect it and knowing that the theater going to want to turn back in a bit. And that part those boots and bars. I think if you purchase them through an orthotist it will cost you about $900 For your first job. So a lot of moms have kind of created exchanges. So I met a mom who was from the Yukon and I had sent her my old boots and bars as well as some clothing and other mom and I put together a gift package and sent it to her. And she has now created what is called the Canadian clubfoot support society. And she is also a maker she makes clothing as well. And we just started chatting and I said, you know, I think I'd really like to make a necklace, and I'd like to make it as a fundraiser for your society. So that's what I did. I made what I call the clubfoot strong necklace, or the clubfoot heart and it's a little silver pendant with two little curly feet inside of a heart.

Rosie Harris:

Cause I thought it'd be a great conversation piece. It's subtle enough that it just looks like a little hard. Lots of moms have like little footprints and some prints and little baby keepsakes. But you know any clubfoot man is going to recognize those little curly feet. And it's just again, I think it's an important thing to get the conversation going. You know, our kids, they're very easily corrected, for the most part by the time they start school. Many of them don't wear boots and bars anymore at something that they wear at night. And if they do, they're usually fairly small little kind of covers that go on inside of their shoes or these home efos. And they, yeah, it's known as visible. Wear something like I believe cleft palate is the other most common congenital birth defect. So yeah, I just thought it was a good conversation piece. You know, we're very lucky that part of it. The procedure is covered by medical costs here in Canada, some provinces have fully covered. I was a bit shocked to find out that it wasn't.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah, so pros, is it 100% of the proceeds of that necklace

Rosie Harris:

go exactly. So it's I made it as a not for profit piece. I donated actually about five of each design to the color Canadian conflict society. So they are selling them directly from their online store where they sell a bunch of merchandise that they sell as a fundraiser for their society. And I also sell them online on my own store, and we'll donate all profits to them.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

It's so beautiful. That's so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing, you know, until I met you I'd never heard of clubfoot and, you know, I think it just takes these conversations to educate and be more aware of that. You know, the fact that I mean depends on where like our listeners are around the world. So every community or province or state or country by I'd have different ways of navigating the system with what's covered and what's not. But you know, if this is something that resonates with you, or you're, you know, you know, a mom whose child has clubfoot or your child does, you know and you want that extra support. I'm sure Rosie be great, you know, gracious enough to share her experience. Because, you know, I, it's again about talking about these things.

Rosie Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. And I was so grateful to have the moms that reached out to me. Yeah. And you know, when people said, One day you're gonna look back and think it's not a big deal. I thought they were just kind of like just saying that to pacify me and they didn't really believe it or mean it. And now I'm like, you know, if all goes well, which we're still not completely in the clear for him, there's still a possibility of future surgeries. But I mean, there's also the possibility there might not be ran really, I just kind of, you know, I was putting on his boots last night. We went to bed on Sunday. There's a big fight some nights it's really easy. But it has just become part of our routine. It's not, it's not as big and as bad and scary as I thought it was going to be.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing. So as we you know, first of all, you guys listening want to support the cause and Rosie for jewelry is beautiful. Go to her website. The link is in the bio in the show notes, not in the bio but in the show notes. And you can even go and purchase a piece of jewelry to support clubfoot. So as we wrap up, Rosie, I would love for you to maybe share advice to mothers out there who are learning that their child might have clubfoot or you know, con, would you say it was called a congenital

Rosie Harris:

congenital birth defect?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah. So what advice do you have for those mothers out there who are in this pregnancy stage and learning this information?

Rosie Harris:

And just you're not alone? I think that's the biggest thing is, you know, what is it as common as one in every 107 50 live births. I think as they say, between one on 1001 to 750. And you know what most of the moms and dads and kids I've met who have gone through this, they're more than happy to share those experiences and offer support. And there is groups, whether it's emotional support, financial support, there's help available and just know that you're not alone and know that you will get through this and you can get through this.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

That's beautiful. That's such beautiful advice. Rosie, thank you so much for coming on to our podcast, to share your story of, you know, loss and your journey with your children. And I really appreciate your honesty and your vulnerability vulnerability. The tongue twister vulnerability. So thank you so much. And thank you to all of our listeners who tuned in for another episode of radical resilience. Remember, you are not alone. It's okay to not be okay, you're gonna get through it. And it's okay if you're sad. It's okay. If it's a struggle, you know that you have supported us and there is support out there for you. You are resilient.

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